A young gay waiter has been fired after a restaurant patron left an homophobic comment on their receipt.

A young waiter – known as Justin – working at the Hickory Tavern in North Carolina, US, was let go after sharing the homophobic comments one of the patron had written on their receipt, reports the Charlotte Observer.

"Our gay server made me want to throw up my food. Ruined my experience. Won't be coming back," read the receipt, dated 30 November.

The restaurant initially fired the young man based on its confidentiality policy, which forbids staff from sharing receipt information. However, after interviewing the waiter, Hickory Tavern offered him his position back.

"We strongly condemn the insults directed at one of our team members in remarks left by a patron on their credit card receipt," said Hickory Tavern in a statement.

"We value diversity and do not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation or for any other reason."

"We also value the privacy of our patrons, and posting of credit card receipts violates our confidentiality policy," it added.

The young man's situation touched many online, including another of Hickory's patrons, Lucia Stetson. The young woman shared the picture of the receipt online on 3 December. "Ok friends. A sweet young man was fired from his server job at Hickory Tavern after sharing a bigoted note left by a customer. Let's help him find a new job."

Her post was shared more than 1,750 times on Facebook at time of writing.

Many commented on her post expressing their disgust at the situation, saying they wouldn't be going back to the Hickory Tavern. People also offered to help Justin find a new job, asking for his resume or offering to put him in contact with other restaurants.

Upon hearing of Justin's experience, another customer went by the Hickory Tavern and left him a $500 tip for a $2.76 bill. The receipt read:" Justin, God is love. Jesus loves you and Hickory Tavern is lucky to have you. Merry Christmas!"

Justin explained that the man told him he had a gay son, and that no one should be talked to that way.

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